So over the summer of 2014 I wrote a couple of stories about a kid named Brody Quint who lives at the beach in Anywhere, USA, but mostly likely the East Coast because that’s where I live. Anyway, it was the sort of short storypoem I enjoy writing, and fans of Steven Spielberg’s JAWS will recognize that the name Brody Quint is an amalagram of the two main characters from the film, the stalwart Chief of Police in Amity and the salty old sharkhunter, Quint. I don’t expect children to have any CLUE as to that, but I think it would be fun to know that one day they’ll grow a little older and see JAWS and make the connection to this little book they read as kids. I like dropping little easter eggs like that into stories actually, I think it makes them more fun for adults to read and comprehend with a wink and a nod.
But Sharkzilla turned into a STRANGE story. Not so much the first entry, but it became a 3-parter, and now it’s a 10,000 word storypoem, the longest and most involved I’ve ever written. Part 2 probably has around eight or nine characters, and it’s hard trying to give people (or things) personalities and a voice and a story arc in that short amount of space while still trying to make the whole thing rhyme and stay in some resemblance of a meter.
Challenging, but rewarding, if I can pull it off. But like I was saying, Me & Sharkzilla transformed from a whimsical romp with a boy and his sharkman friend to a D&D/Cthulhu-esque romp through dangerous waters filled with combat and monsters and zombie trees. I can’t help it, it’s just the direction the story wanted to take, and it was something I’d always wanted to run in D&D, an underwater scenario. So instead of D&D, I end up writing a weird little poem about it.
And I have no idea how it will turn out. The third and final part is in the editing phase still, and it’s going slow. In fact, Part 2 needs tons more editing, and from experience, editing these storypoems can be a very, very long process. Sometimes it flows easier than others, and sometimes I can peck at the same sentences for months and months and not really get anywhere.
What does this mean for Me & Sharkzilla? I think it means that somewhere down the line the public will get a look at my fully illustrated trilogy, enjoy it for all of its weirdness, and never have a clue as to how tricky it was to write.
And that’s good enough for me.